Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: November 2013

Tour de Gruene

Saturday, November 2nd I cycled in the 30th annual Tour de Gruene. This was my first time riding Tour de Gruene, though I had heard of it for many years. 2013 essentially was the first year I did any major bike rides, having focused on running until some injuries forced me onto the bike.

Tour de Gruene begins from the tiny town of Gruene in Central Texas, rides into the edges of the Hill Country, and returns along the scenic River Road along the Guadalupe River. A week prior to the event torrential rains raised the river level ten feet and washed out part of the road, but county crews quickly repaired the damage. Aside from some water still trickling on the road from higher ground, there was no visible sign of damage. Over 2,000 cyclists participated, and the event was split into four distances, ranging from 35 to 65 miles. I chose the 65 mile route, which was advertised as “hilly” and “challenging.” They did not lie. Continue reading

Alongside Night

Today I received in the mail a copy of Alongside Night: The Graphic Novel. Based on a screenplay of J. Neil Schulman’s 1979 debut novel, and updated for the present age, this new version Alongside Night also has finished production as a movie. The trailer is available on, and stars some big names such as Kevin Sorbo, Tim Russ, and Garrett Wang (the latter two from Star Trek: Voyager). The graphic novel appear adapted from the screenplay rather than the original novel, which makes it shorter and changes some of the settings but no major plot elements.

Ramez Naam’s Crux

Just finished Ramez Naam’s sequel to his superb 2012 novel Nexus, called Crux. Quite a breathtaking book in terms of near future ideas and non-stop action. Picking up a few months after the events in Nexus, the sequel rushes down the same paths, with many old characters plus a few new ones. Naam has narrative talent, and clearly a third book will follow.


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